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Uruguay’s year in weed: 3 big successes, 3 burning questions

Wasn’t Uruguay supposed to become a marijuana mecca of the south? Here’s why that hasn’t happened, just yet.... Read more»

Guest opinion

Why are Republicans so obsessed with their Keystone pipe dream? For 35 jobs?

The 114th Congress is underway, and in a move that speaks volumes about the Republican leadership’s agenda, the first order of business is rubber-stamping the Keystone XL pipeline. The GOP is doing a big favor for Canadian oil interests by trampling the long-established process for making important environmental decisions. In return, Americans get sharply increased risks to our climate and water quality.... Read more»3

Gun rights advocates to build weapons at Texas Capitol demonstration

Second Amendment advocates plan to manufacture guns at the Texas Capitol during an armed rally set next week. Come and Take it Texas announced late Monday that it had purchased “the Ghost Gunner,” a machine that uses 3-D technology to build firearms, for use at the Jan. 13 event, where participants had already planned to carry rifles and shotguns to protest the state’s gun laws.... Read more»1

Audit: Border drones costly, infrequently flown

The drone program operated by Customs and Border Protection costs far more than the agency estimates, flies far fewer hours than it should, and helps in a fraction of apprehensions along the U.S-Mexico border, according to an audit of the program. In a report released on Christmas Eve, the DHS Inspector General found that after eight years, the program has not achieved results, flying for only about 20 percent of the time expected.... Read more»2

Factcheck: Congressional pensions

Q: Can members of Congress retire and receive their full pay after serving one term? A: No. Only senators are eligible for a pension after one term, but it won’t be their full salary.... Read more»

Popularity of outpatient surgery leads to safety questions

The number of ambulatory surgery centers — which perform procedures such as colonoscopies, cataract removal, joint repairs and spinal injections on patients who don’t require an overnight stay in a hospital — has increased dramatically in the past decade, for reasons both clinical and financial. More than two-thirds of operations performed in the United States now occur in outpatient centers, some of which are owned by hospitals.... Read more»

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's 5 mountainous challenges for 2015

There is no doubt that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had a crappy end to 2014. Amid violence, scandals, and a sinking peso, his popularity rating tumbled 20 points. Peña Nieto meets with President Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday. The leaders will discuss security, migration and human rights issues, Mexican officials said.

... Read more»

The Perry legacy: Immigration

When Gov. Rick Perry signed legislation in 2001 making Texas the first state where some undocumented immigrants could pay in-state college tuition rates, it signaled his acknowledgement that a population living in the shadows should be able to contribute to the state’s success. Perry’s compassion was tempered, however, by frustration with a broken immigration system that put state lawmakers on the spot deciding how to help Texans brought to the country illegally as children through no fault of their own.... Read more»2

High-level Fed committee overruled finding on Goldman

A committee that includes senior Federal Reserve officials reviewed and overturned a bank examiner’s finding that Goldman Sachs lacked a firm-wide policy to prevent conflicts of interest, according to a top Fed official.... Read more»

Texas now hands-down leader in wind power

When Gov. Rick Perry first took office, Texas’ wind energy sector hardly existed. But the state has since become the nation’s leader in wind energy generation, Jim Malewitz writes, and Perry — more commonly associated with oil and gas — helped steer that boom.... Read more»

Will Common Core math standards survive — and who's behind them?

Jason Zimba and the other writers of the Common Core knew the transition would be tough, but they never imagined conflicts over bad homework would fuel political battles and threaten the very existence of their dream to remodel American education.... Read more»1

Which states created the most jobs in 2014?

Nearly every state added jobs in 2014, and 14 states experienced an employment increase of 2 percent or more, according to a Stateline analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released on Dec. 19.... Read more»

Fantastic Voyage: Tiny sensors may monitor seniors' meds from inside

Forget armband monitors like Fitbit, the newest body monitors are as tiny as BBs. These so-called nanomeds, miniscule sensors embedded in a placebo pill that you swallow, set up shop in your gut. As they slowly work their way through your system, these “ingestibles” – which are actually not digested – are switched on by contact with saliva and/or gastric juices. The signal is picked up by another sensor which looks like a Band-Aid and is worn on your chest.... Read more»

FactCheck: What was Alan Gross doing in Cuba?

In accounts from both sides of the aisle, recently-freed Alan Gross has been portrayed as a humanitarian simply trying to bring Internet access to Cuba’s small Jewish community. But there’s more to the story than that shorthand suggests.... Read more»

Immigrants still surging into Texas shelters

The news crews have drifted away, and the national spotlight has turned elsewhere. But Central American immigrants continue to cross illegally into Texas, and their numbers seem to be growing again. Border officials and charities expect their humanitarian efforts to continue into the foreseeable future.... Read more»50

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